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J. Arthur ThomsonThe Outline of Science (July 3, 2008)

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LibriVox recording of The Outline of Science, by J. Arthur Thomson. Read by Mark F. Smith.

In The Outline of Science, Thomson gives us a window into scientific thinking as it stood in 1922 on the big, the little, and the biological. With straightforward language intended for a general audience, this book covers astronomy from the Solar System to the Milky Way, the submicroscopic makeup of matter from protons and electrons, and the evolution of simple living beings into the varied fauna of the world today. Thomson cites many examples that would have been familiar to his readers of the day and notes where scientific understanding leaves off and conjecture begins. He clearly shows how the accumulation of observation and experiment stacked up to form the body of knowledge reported in the book. For even the scientifically well-versed, there will be interesting nuggets, for investigation into how the world came to be as it was, was both wide and deep.

To a modern listener, what was not known may be as interesting as what was. With the 100-inch Mt. Wilson reflector the largest telescope in the world, the existence of galaxies outside the Milky Way was suspected but not confirmed. Neutrons, soon to become important in the field of nuclear energy and atomic bombs, were as yet unguessed-at, yet the prospect of liberating the immense energy of the atom was already a keen interest. Although the famous Michaelson-Morley experiment had already been seen as disproof of an all-pervading "ether" which facilitated the flow of energy across empty space, scientists still retained ether as a place-holder for properties they could measure but not explain - an approach very similar to the "dark matter" of modern cosmology.

Regardless of your personal sentiments on Darwin's theory of evolution, Thomson provides well-chosen examples that illustrate why this theory arose. He examines not only the fossil record but the evidences present in modern living beings that the process of evolution is by no means finished, but ongoing.

Even at that time, Thomson worried over the future of energy sources. He contemplated the exhaustion of the coal fields and indeed, the eventual exhaustion of all usable energy in the universe, foreshadowing our concept of entropy.

This book has been consistently among the "Top 100 E-Books" published by Project Gutenberg.

Summary by Mark F. Smith.

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox.org.

M4B format available


This audio is part of the collection: The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
It also belongs to collections: Audio Books & Poetry; Community Audio

Artist/Composer: J. Arthur Thomson
Date: 2008-07-03
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Keywords: librivox; audiobook; non fiction; science; thomson; outline of science;

Creative Commons license: Public Domain


Individual Files

Whole Item FormatSize
outline_science_mfs_0807_librivox_128kb.m3u 128kbps M3U Stream
outline_science_mfs_0807_librivox_64kb.m3u 64Kbps M3U Stream
outline_science_mfs_0807_librivox_64kb_mp3.zip 64Kbps MP3 ZIP 275.1 MB
Audio Files 128Kbps MP3 Ogg Vorbis 64Kbps MP3
00 - Introductory Note & Introduction 11.5 MB
9.0 MB
5.7 MB
01-1 The Romance of the Heavens, Pt 1 38.7 MB
30.1 MB
19.3 MB
01-2 The Romance of the Heavens, Pt 2 45.0 MB
35.5 MB
22.5 MB
02-1 The Story of Evolution, Pt 1 38.9 MB
31.1 MB
19.5 MB
02-2 The Story of Evolution, Pt 2 29.0 MB
23.0 MB
14.5 MB
02-3 The Story of Evolution, Pt 3 47.6 MB
38.2 MB
23.8 MB
03 - Adaptations to Environment 38.0 MB
30.0 MB
19.0 MB
04 - The Struggle for Existence 29.4 MB
23.2 MB
14.8 MB
05-1 The Ascent of Man, Pt 1 21.9 MB
16.8 MB
10.9 MB
05-2 The Ascent of Man, Pt 2 32.4 MB
24.5 MB
16.2 MB
06 - Evolution Going On 40.3 MB
32.1 MB
20.2 MB
07-1 The Dawn of Mind, Pt 1 46.2 MB
36.3 MB
23.1 MB
07-2 The Dawn of Mind, Pt 2 25.9 MB
20.2 MB
13.0 MB
08-1 Foundations of the Universe, Pt 1 35.8 MB
27.7 MB
17.9 MB
08-2 Foundations of the Universe, Pt 2 30.5 MB
23.6 MB
15.2 MB
08-3 Foundations of the Universe, Pt 3 38.9 MB
30.0 MB
19.4 MB
Image Files JPEG
Outline_Science_Vol1_Solo_1201.jpg 134.4 KB
Information FormatSize
outline_science_mfs_0807_librivox_files.xml Metadata [file]
outline_science_mfs_0807_librivox_meta.xml Metadata 4.1 KB
outline_science_mfs_0807_librivox_reviews.xml Metadata 197.0 B
Other Files Archive BitTorrent
outline_science_mfs_0807_librivox_archive.torrent 35.4 KB

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